Does shopping for your kid really count as shopping?

Do you find it easier to excuse frivolous shopping when it's for the baby? Our Deputy Editor Leah rationalizes her latest purchase.

By Leah Rumack
Does shopping for your kid really count as shopping?

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I thought I’d gotten over my Problem. I’d done a lot of soul searching—or, as we call it in Toronto, drinking expensive coffee with other women exactly like you—when I was on maternity leave and I thought I’d gotten it out of my system. But apparently, I hadn’t.

The Kid Stuff Wanting Problem has reared its adorable little head again, preferably wearing the latest super cute hat from Baby Gap.

I think every first-time Mom goes through this when they get knocked up. A flurry of nesting activity that mostly consists of scouring Craigslist maniacally to get the stroller you want and dragging your partner around to look at cribs until he wants to throw himself off a bridge. It’s not shopping—it’s your Evolutionary Duty to feather your nest.
Once my now 15-month-old Ben arrived, the baby stuff collecting morphed into an elaborate hunter/gatherer mission, where my mat leave partner-in-crime Pam and I haunted cheap kid clothing outlets and hid out at air-conditioned malls and IKEA on muggy summer days, buying just, you know, a little thing here and there for our babies. And don’t get me started about getting sucked in by those Old Navy 30% off online shopping emails.  
Of course it all passed the mat leave hours, and there’s nothing like mostly guilt-free shopping: (It’s not for me, it’s for the baby). But soon it became apparent that I needed another hobby. Ben didn’t get around to wearing half the clothes before he grew out of them and there was no room in my small downtown Toronto house for many toys or books anyways.
I was cut off.
The new minimalist ethos that I put in force for him started to apply to me as well, to the point where my clothes started looking a little, well, shabby, and my diaper bag was hanging off my stroller by a thread. But really, it was fine. I was a new woman. A woman whose baby doesn’t need stuff, a woman who can make do. That is, until I saw the new stylish diaper bags from Timi & Leslie. (I'll wait while you go look and drool. Select styles are available through and baby boutiques throughout Canada. You're welcome!)
I forwarded the link to Pam, with the subject line: “Our dream diaper bags!” She told me that I’m the devil because now she wants one, but that really she shouldn’t get one because she’s back at work and doesn’t use a diaper bag every day anymore, but you know, she is planning on having another kid and all. I cheerfully pointed out that it could also be used as a tote.
I got one.
But it’s ok. It’s not for me. It’s for the baby.

This article was originally published on Apr 02, 2012

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